This year I had the pleasure of working with a family household (parents, 2 kids under 5 and a dog:) who wanted more general order all around. They were not in a horrible situation, just looking to improve upon organizing systems and create some where none existed. With busy families I often find that things fall apart because there are only partial systems in place or none.
This house has a great family room, open to the kitchen which allowed for family time and meal prep to all be in one space. With two little boys though, the play area got messy quickly and mom and dad’s kitchen space was often overtaken by toys and their own daily “landing pad” stuff (mail, purse, laptop, kids art etc). We decided upon our first session the kids play area would be priority number one with the kitchen to follow. Following the SPACE system (created by Organizer and Author Julie Morgenstern) we Sorted, Purged, Assigned, Containerized and Equalized the kids play area.
Kids Play Area-Before
The kids play area off the kitchen had ample storage for a reasonable amount of toys in this space but it was awkward, narrow, hard to reach, overflowing and partially unusable. Our first step was to modify the cabinets (done by a professional) by changing the configuration and height of shelves, installing additional shelves and removing the door from the area under the stairs to create a “garage” for the boys cars and trucks. With the toys purged and sorted and the cabinet modifications in place we measured and ordered specific containers based on the types of toys needing to be stored in the space. These included clear “shoe boxes” for smaller toys, an alligator bin for larger toys under the stairs, translucent totes for inside cabinet shelves and oval ‘chalkboard’ labels for everything. Books and musical instruments were moved to additional cabinets nearby but separate from the rest of the toys.
Kids Play Area-After
This whole project could have been done with existing storage containers but because this area is so widely used by both the family and for entertaining, it made sense to invest in specific storage containers and create a system that was easy to use, clean up and maintain. The finished space is beautiful, functional and FUN! In the new year, during GO-Month (Get Organized-January!) I’ll be sharing the kitchen makeover from this home.